The Earl E. Myers Story
Related Notes and Letters from
Editor's Note: Richard (Dick) Newton has been a life-long friend and fellow USAF officer and pilot with Earl Myers. Dick has made a variety of important contributions to the content of this web site. Earl, in his stories and in our contacts via phone and e-mail in recent years, has often spoken to me of his high regard for Dick, both as a professional USAF officer and pilot, and as a treasured friend. They lived in close proximity to one another in Florida in these later years and it is only natural that Dick would attend and be asked to participate in Earl's funeral service. He has offered us the following comments and information copies of letters he has written based upon his attendance at the funeral. We offer them for your review in this closing chapter of Earl's biographical notes in an effort to complete the story.
Dick's E-Mail Notes:
As noted in my last e-mail, I attended the services for Earl in Independence on 20 February. I have attached a couple letters which hopefully reflect the results. One is to the Commander of the 509th Bomb Wing; they provided the Honor Guard. One is to Steve, Ann, Chris, and Kip: Earl's four children.
Reminder, Chris is a Catholic Priest, a USAFR Major Chaplain. He officiated during the Mass and the Services at the cemetery.
Glenn Montgomery and Ted Cambrom were exceptional representatives of the 90th SRW Association. Immediately prior to the Mass, Chris invited Ted and me to make remarks. Ted did so in a most meaningful way; relating his experiences as Earl's crew chief in the 320th SRS. This involved several flights with him.
The services were well attended; particularly, by members of the Independence Police Department. Steve retired from this organization just about a year ago; and, his son-in-law and one of Ann's sons are members.
Of interest, a graduate of the high school Class of 1940 (two years ahead of Earl) brought his Class Yearbook to show Earl's children pictures of him in his sophomore class. This grad joined the Army as a Signal Corps officer and served throughout WWII. He said he did not know Earl well; but, wanted to share the pictures.
Letter to Brigadier General Douglas L. Raaberg:
February 23, 2004
Brigadier General Douglas L. Raaberg
Dear General Raaberg:
On February 20th, I attended Services for Colonel Earl E. Myers, USAF (Ret) in Independence, Missouri, and had the opportunity to visit Whiteman AFB that evening and during the following day.
The purpose of this letter is primarily to commend to you several Airmen of the 509th who contributed to the success of this visit; however, first permit me to tell you something about Colonel Myers: a special Officer; an exceptional pilot; and, a long-time friend.
Born and raised in Independence, he joined the Army Air Corps in January of 1943. He flew combat missions during World War II and Korea: WWII in the 73rd Bomb Group (B-29) on Saipan; and, Korean War, at Yokota AB, Japan in the 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron (RB-29). His Korean War experience began on June 25, 1950, the day the North Koreans invaded, and extended through the spring of 1951, after the lines stabilized near the 38th parallel.
I first met him at Fairchild AFB in January ’52. He and his crew were part of the training cadre for those of us in the RB-29 pipeline to the 91st SRS. I next met him at Forbes AFB, Kansas when I returned from Yokota in November ’53. Whereas, I was an Aircraft Commander in the RB-29, I did not have enough total time to qualify as A/C in the RB-47E. Hence, I became the Pilot on then-Captain Myers’ RB-47 crew: the best possible apprenticeship I could have hoped for. After he retired from the USAF he: served in the CIA; worked with the Lear family (16,221 hours in Lear aircraft); flew on numerous overseas assignments / projects; and, completed his log books with a total of 41,244 hours.
He completed his Final Flight on January 28 2004: three months to the day short of the 50th anniversary of our first flight in the B-47 CCTS at McConnell AFB.
The Whiteman AFB Honor Guard’s performance at graveside was outstanding. I particularly commend the NCOIC, SSgt Deppa, of the Base Contracting Office. I regret that I did not obtain the names of the entire detail; however, be assured that all present, including Earl’s four children and their families, were particularly impressed with the professionalism and respect with which they represented the United States Air Force and honored Colonel Myers. Well Done!
I had the privilege to stay in the Truman House on February 20th, and would commend to you TSgt Evans of the Whiteman Inn for the outstanding manner in which she registered and oriented me for this.
Our time together on February 21st permitted me to meet SSgt Sems, B-2 Crew Chief, at his airplane. This completed my exposure to a triad of exceptional NCOs.
Please extend to each: my respect for their professionalism; my appreciation for their service; and, my best wishes for their continued success as they proceed with their careers in the USAF.
Thank you for this opportunity to get “Reblued.”
Letter to the Earl E. Myers Family:
Dear Steve, Ann, Chris, and Kip:
Your Dad would have been very proud of and pleased with the Services you provided in his memory on February 20th.
I consider it an honor to have participated and to have shared this with you.
As I mentioned in my remarks, original words to express feelings upon the loss of a special friend are difficult to find. I have found that the excerpt from the third verse of the West Point Alma Mater I quoted has been very meaningful on similar occasions. Permit me to share them with you here:
And when our work is done,
Few have done more to earn the accolade: Well Done.
It is not coincidence that the last line fit so closely with Chris’ remarks. It was evident to all present that you are comforted in the sure knowledge that he is at peace. Equally obvious: the strength you showed individually and collectively as a function of your love for your Dad and your faith in God.
We will miss his physical presence; however, our focus on our good times together will lighten that loss significantly.
Ruth joins in extending our condolences and sincere best wishes.